“She was a seasoned person.” That was how a woman was described at a celebration of life I recently attended. “She was a seasoned person.” And, everyone nodded in agreement. It was said in such a way that it was an earned recognition, a moniker that came after many, many seasons.
It got me thinking about what that means and what it might take to get there, to become seasoned.
So, what does it mean, to be seasoned?
Certainly there’s something to be said for the years adding seasoning. Experiencing season after season becoming really good at the thing. Vocabulary.com says “seasoned describes a person who has been around forever, doing what they do and doing it well - throughout the seasons.”
I don’t know about being around forever, but certainly when you want to know something about a topic or a skill or an area of interest, you ask someone who is seasoned, or a veteran, at that thing. You want to know about the best way to travel by foot through the south of France, you’d want to ask a seasoned traveler or hiker. You want to know how to craft a meaningful piece of prose or a photograph at dusk, you’d ask a seasoned writer or photographer. You want to find a leader for your sales force or legal department, you’d ask a seasonal professional in those fields for the best results.
When one goes through the seasons, there’s a maturation process that naturally occurs. So it stands to reason that being seasoned is a goal of maturing in life.
But, I love this idea of becoming a seasoned person in life. What is it besides experience in a field of study or industry that makes someone seasoned? Someone who has rich depth of character and possession of vast qualities. Someone who displays and lives a multitude of flavors when it comes to interests and conversation and relationships and tones of attitude.
What flavors add rich seasoning to the palate of life?
- Yes, experience does add seasoning
- Laughter adds seasoning
- Pain adds seasoning
- Grief adds seasoning
- Deep love adds seasoning
- Longing adds seasoning
- Thirst for constant learning adds seasoning
- Thought that leads to change adds seasoning
- Contributing knowledge to new ideas adds seasoning
- Seeing and feeling the colors of the world add seasoning
- Having a difficult conversation adds seasoning
A seasoned person knows who they are.
A seasoned person trusts that their wisdom, knowledge and experience is embodied. It just is. And can be called upon at all times.
A seasoned person doesn’t play games. They don’t have to.
A seasoned person doesn’t care so much anymore about what people think of them or what they do or how they do it.
Even when there is stress, a seasoned person handles it because they know they have the tools, the ingredients, to deal with it.
A seasoned person that continues to enrich their lives isn’t afraid to add new flavors to the mix. In fact, they seek them out.
“The seasoned woman is going to offer a more seasoned character. “ Robin Wright
A dear friend was visiting for the weekend and we were cooking dinner together, trying a new recipe that included the pungent Egyptian dukkah seasoning, to be added to the roasted sweet potatoes, cabbage and onions. Okay, I have a sensitive palate so I don’t do spicy well. In other words, if something’s too spicy it ruins it for me. She, on the other hand, was a big fan. And, I wanted to be game. So, she suggested adding the heavy spice to half and lightly seasoning the other half. Then, if I tasted it and liked it we could mix the two together. So, I did and we did. It was intensely herby and delicious.
It got me thinking how being a multi-dimensional and layered seasoned person means trying new things, new experiences, new ideas that add to the mixture of life. New flavors tossed into the marinade.
The beauty of becoming seasoned is that it’s organic, it’s gradual. It’s natural human transformation. It’s evolving into being our most authentic selves.
“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.” Lao Tzu
Becoming seasoned is not settling, but rather grounding into purpose.
Do I feel seasoned? At times, you bet I do. What’s interesting is I’m living into it, embracing it, actually rejoicing in it, a little more each day. Those little moments that present themselves when I say, “I’ve got this. This is easy.” Those things that I’m able to do without laboring, without stress, and with calm and grace.
And, those things that are a challenge but I trust that I know how to fortitude through.
Those things that I’ve practiced, studied, nurtured, worked, worn, expressed, chewed, swallowed, cooked, massaged, explored, exfoliated, babied, battered, battled, loved and owned. For years.
“In time we grow older, we grow wiser, we grow smarter, and we're better. And I feel like I'm becoming more seasoned, although I don't have my salt-and-pepper hair.” Usher
Yeah, I’m seasoned and damn happy about it. You?